Significado y Mente en Aristóteles


  • Fabian G. Mie Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) Instituto de Humanidades y Ciencias (IHuCSo)-Litoral Departamento de Filosofía Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DEL LITORAL



Meaning, Concepts, Representation, Imagination, Intellect


Aristotle’s concern for meaning and mind, in the compact opening lines of De Interpretatione (16a3-8) together with the sequel of the next six chapters of this treatise, have been read (both historically and contemporary) in heavily different ways. Discrepancies reach even the kind of project this text carries out, whether engaged in a theory of language and meaning closely linked to Aristotle’s explanation of mental representation or rather engaged primarily in dialectical refutation without particular interest on meaning and mind. Yet, it is held -almost without exception among contemporary interpreters- that Aristotle explains (there and everywhere) meaning in terms of mental representation, and that somehow he takes mental representation to be dependent strongly on images which produce a mental likeness to the external object. So it goes nearly uncontested that mainly imagination must be responsible for meaning. This is a controversial assumption that I will dispute here by providing a detailed account of De Interpretatione (and some other related texts of the Organon) and by uncovering the psychological support for semantics (mostly found in De Anima and Parva Naturalia). Two main theses will be here argued for. First, I will contend that Aristotle is committed to a moderate linguistic conventionalism through which he can manage to preserve the intentional content of significant sounds as well as to avoid the shortcomings of any explanation of meaning in terms of images and likeness. Second, I will give several reasons Aristotle would have for explaining meaning on the basis of intellect rather than imagination. As a result, Aristotle will be exonerated from the common blame of having countenanced a natural imitation (based on images) to secure the reference of words.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Fabian G. Mie, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) Instituto de Humanidades y Ciencias (IHuCSo)-Litoral Departamento de Filosofía Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DEL LITORAL

Investigador Independiente del Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Instituto de Humanidades y Ciencias (IHuCSo)-Litoral
Prof. Asociado de Filosofía Antigua
Departamento de Filosofía
Facultad de Humanidades y CienciasUNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DEL LITORAL



Categoriae et Liber De Interpretatione. Recognovit brevique adnotatione critica instruxit Lorenzo Minio-Paluello. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1949.

De Interpretatione (ΠΕΡΙ ΕΡΜΗΝΕΙΑΣ). Recognovit Hermann Weidemann. Bibliotheca Teubneriana. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2014.

Las restantes obras de Aristóteles se citan según las ediciones en la colección Oxford Classical Texts, con excepción de:

De generatione animalium (De la géneration des animaux). Text établi et traduit P. Louis. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1961.

De partibus animalium (Les parties des animaux). Texte établi et traduit P. Louis. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1957.

Historia animalium (Histoire des animaux). 3 vols. Texte établi et traduit P. Louis. Paris, 1964: Les Belles Lettres.

Parva naturalia (Petits Traités d’Histoire Naturelle). Texte établi et traduit R. Mugnier. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1965.

Topiques I-IV. Texte établi et traduit J. Brunschwig. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1967.

De Motu Animalium. Text with translation and notes by M. Craven Nussbaum. Princeton (N.J.): Princeton University Press, 1978.


Opera, vol I. Recognoverunt brevique adnotatione critica instruxerunt E.A. Duke et alii (Cratylus: W.S.M. Nicoll). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Ackrill, John L. Aristotle’s Categories and De Interpretatione. Translated with notes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970.

Ademollo, Francesco. The Cratylus of Plato: A Commentary. New York: Cambridge University Press: 2011. doi: 10.1017/cbo9780511779022

Ademollo, Francesco. “Recensión de De interpretatione (ΠΕΡΙ ΕΡΜΗΝΕΙΑΣ), recognovit Hermann Weidemann,” Gnomon 89/8 (2017): 683–9.

Amonio. In Aristotelis De Interpretatione commentarius, A. Busse (ed.), Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca IV. 5. Berlin: Reimer, 1897.

Anagnostopoulos, Giorgos. “Plato’s Cratylus: The Two Theories of the Correctness of Names,” The Review of Metaphysics 25 (1971): 691-736.

Araos, Jaime. La filosofía aristotélica del lenguaje. Pamplona: Eunsa, 1999.

Aubenque, Pierre. Le problème de l’être chez Aristote. Essai sur le problématique aristotélicienne. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1994.

Aubenque, Pierre. “Aristote et le langage,” (1967) reed. en Problèmes aristotéliciens, I Philosophie théorique, 11-30. Paris: Vrin, 2009. (reimpressão 2013 - DOI: 10.3917/puf.aube.2013.01)

Aubenque, Pierre 1991. “Herméneutique et ontolologie: a propos du Peri Hermeneias,” (1991), reed. en Problèmes aristotéliciens, I Philosophie théorique, 101-113. Paris: Vrin, 2009.

Barnes, Jonathan (ed.). The Complete Works of Aristotle. The Revised Oxford Translation. Volume One. Princeton: Princeton University Press (Bollingen Series), 1995.

Barney, Rachel. “Plato on Conventionalism,” Phronesis 42/2 (1997): 143-62. DOI: 10.1163/156852897762700070

Belardi, Walther. Il linguaggio nella filosofia di Aristotele, Roma, 1975.

Bernabé Pajares, Alberto. Aristóteles, Tratados breves de historia natural (introducción, traducción y notas). Madrid: Gredos, 1987.

Berti, Enrico. “Significato, denotazione ed essenza in Aristotele,” (1988), reed. en Nuovi Studi Aristotelici, vol. I. Epistemologia, logica e dialettica, 215-25. Brescia: Morcelliana, 2004.

Boeri, Marcelo D. Aristóteles, Acerca del alma. Traducción, notas, prólogo e introducción. Buenos Aires: Colihue, 2010.

Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus (Boecio). Commentarii in librum Aristotelis περὶ ἑρμηνείας. Pars prior, versionem continuam et primam editionem continens, Carolus Meisner (ed.). Leipzig: Teubner, 1877.

Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus (Boecio). Commentarii in librum Aristotelis περὶ ἑρμηνείας. Pars posterior, secundam editionem et indices continens, Carolus Meisner, (ed.). Leipzig: Teubner, 1880.

Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus (Boecio). On Aristotle, On Interpretation 4-6. Translated by Andrew Smith, Ancient Commentators on Aristotle. London: Bloomsbury, 2011.

Bolton, Robert. “Essentialism and Semantic Theory in Aristotle: Posterior Analytics, II, 7-10,” The Philosophical Review 85 (1976): 514-44. DOI: 10.2307/2184277

Bonitz, Hermann. Index Aristotelicus. Graz: Akademischer Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1955.

Candel Sanmartín, Miguel. Aristóteles, Tratados de Lógica (Órganon). Vol. II. Madrid: Gredos, 1995.

Charles, David. Aristotle on Meaning and Essence. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. DOI: 10.1093/019925673x.003.0002

Crivelli, Paolo. Aristotle on Truth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511482496

De Rijk, Lambertus Marie. Aristotle: Semantics and Ontology. Volume I Semantics and Ontology. Leiden: Brill, 2002. DOI: 10.1163/9789004321151

Evans, Gareth. The Varieties of Reference. John McDowell (ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982.

Fine, Gail. “Plato on Naming,” Philosophical Quarterly 27/109 (1977): 289-301. DOI: 10.2307/2218949

Frede, Michael und Patzig, Günther. Aristoteles, Metaphysik Z. Text, Übersetzung und Kommentar. 2 Bände. Munich: Beck, 1988.

Frege, Gottlob. “Über Sinn und Bedeutung,” Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik 100 (N.S.) (1892): 25-60 (citado según la paginación original en la reed. en Gottlob Frege, Funktion, Begriff, Bedeutung, Günther Patzig (ed.), pp. 40-65, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 19947).

Gohlke, Paul. Die Entstehung der Aristotelischen Logik, Berlin: Reimer, 1936.

Hamlyn, D. W. Aristotle’s De Anima. Books II, III. Translated with Introduction and Notes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968.

Hicks, R. D. Aristotle: De Anima. Text with English Translation and Notes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1907.

Hudry, Jean-Louis. “Aristotle on Meaning,” Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 93 (2011): 253-80. DOI: 10.1515/AGPH.2011.012

Irwin, Terence H. “Aristotle’s Concept of Signification,” en Language and Logos: Studies in Ancient Philosophy (Festschrift G. Vlastos), Malcolm Schofield and Martha Nussbaum (eds.), 241-66. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

Jacobs, William. “Aristotle on Nonreferring Subjects,” Phronesis 24 (1979): 282-300. DOI: 10.1163/156852879x00180

Kapp, Ernst. Greek Foundations of Traditional Logic. New York: Columbia University Press, 1942.

King, R. A. H. Aristoteles, De Memoria et Reminiscentia. Übersetzt und erläutert. En Aristoteles. Werke in deutscher Ubersetzungm Bd. 14, Parva naturalia, Teil III, Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 2004.

Kretzmann, Norman. “Plato on the Correctness of Names,” American Philosophical Quarterly, 8/2 (1971): 126-38.

Kretzmann, Norman. “Aristotle on Spoken Sound Significant by Convention,” en Ancient Logic and Its Modern Interpretations, John Corcoran (ed.), 3-21. Dordrecht/Boston: Reidel, 1974. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-010-2130-2_1

Labarrière, Jean-Louis. “Imagination humaine et imagination animale chez Aristote”, Phronesis 29 (1984): 17-49. DOI: 10.1163/156852884x00175

Liddell, H. G. and Scott, R. A Greek-Englisch Lexicon. Compiled by H. G. Liddell. Revised and augmented throughout by Sir H. Stuart Jones with the assistance of R. McKenzie and with the co-operation of many scholars. With a Supplement (1968) edited by E. A. Barber with the assistance of P. Maas, M. Scheller and M. L. West. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

McDowell, John. Mind and World. Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press, 1996.

McDowell, John. “Singular Thought and the Extent of Inner Space,” en Meaning, Knowledge, and Reality, 228-259. Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press, 1998a.

McDowell, John. “Two Sorts of Naturalism,” en Mind, Value, and Reality, 167-197. Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press, 1998b.

Maier, Heinrich. Die Syllogistik des Aristoteles. I, II/1, II/2. Leipzig: Teubner, 1936 (1ra. ed. 1896-1900).

Magee, J. Boethius on Signification and Mind, Leiden/New York/Kopenhagen/Köln: Brill, 1989. DOI: 10.1163/9789004320741

Mittelmann, Jorge. Aristóteles, Categorías. Sobre la interpretación. Introducción, traducción y notas. Buenos Aires: Losada, 2008.

Modrak, Deborah K. W. Aristotle’s Theory of Language and Meaning, Cambridge (U.K): Cambridge University Press, 2001. DOI: 10.1017/cbo9780511609008

Mombello, Eduardo H. Aristóteles, Ser y Decir: Una reconstrucción de la doctrina de la referencia en la teoría del lenguaje y de la ciencia (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, 2011, Tesis doctoral, inédita).

Montanari, Elio. La sezione linguistica del Peri Hermeneias di Aristotele. Firenze: Olschki, 1984 (vol. I), 1988 (vol. II).

Mora-Márquez, Ana María. “Peri Hermeneias 16a3-8. Histoire d’une rupture de la tradition interprétative dans le bas Moyen Âge,” Revue Philosophique de la France et de l’Étranger 201/136 (2011): 67-84. DOI: 10.3917/rphi.111.0067

Oehler, Klaus. Die Lehre vom Noetischen und Dianoetischen Denken bei Platon und Aristoteles. Ein Beitrag zur Erforschung des Bewusstseinsproblem in der Antike, Hamburg: Meiner, 1985.

Pépin, Jean. “ΣΥΜΒΟΛΑ, ΣΕΜΕΙΑ, ‘ΟΜΟΙΟΜΑΤΑ. A propos de De Interpretatione 1, 16a3-8 et Politique VIII 5, 1340a6-39,” en Aristoteles: Werk und Wirkung. Band I, Jürgen Wiesner (ed.), 22-44, Berlin: De Gruyter, 1985. DOI: 10.1515/9783110859720.22

Peramatzis, Michael. Priority in Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588350.001.0001

Polanski, Ronald. Aristotle’s De anima. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Polansky, Ronald and Kuczewski, Mark. “Speech and Thought, Symbol and Likeness: Aristotle’s De Interpretatione 16a3-9,” Apeiron: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science 23/1 (1990): 51-63. DOI: 10.1515/apeiron.1990.23.1.51

Putnam, Hilary. “Meaning, Other People, and the World,” en Representation and Reality, 19-41. Cambridge (Massachusetts): The MIT Press, 1988.

Rabossi, Eduardo. “Lenguaje, pensamiento y realidad. Peri Hermeneias 16a,” Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofía VIII/2 (1982): 169-80.

Sainati, Vittorio. Storia del “Organon” aristotélico. I Dai “Topici” al “De Interpretatione”. Firenze: Leo Olschki, 1968.

Sedley, David. “Aristotle’s De Interpretatione and Ancient Semantics,” en Knowledge through Signs. Ancient Semiotic Theories and Practices, G. Manetti (ed.), Turnhout, 1996, 87-108

Sedley, David. Plato’s Cratylus. Cambridge (U.K.): Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Sinnott, A. Eduardo. Untersuchungen zur Kommunikation und Bedeutung bei Aristoteles, Münster: Nodus Verlag, 1989.

Tomás de Aquino. Expositio libri Peri Hermeneias, Opera omnia iussu Leonis [...], tomus I, Editio altera [...], Roma/Paris, 1989.

Van der Eijk, Philip J. Aristoteles. De insommniis. De diuinatione per somnum. Übersetzt und erläutert. En Aristoteles. Werke in deutscher Übersetzung Bd. 14, Parva naturalia, Teil III, Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1994.

Waitz, Theodore. Aristotelis, Organon Graece. Novis codicum auxiliis adiunctus recognovit, scholiis ineditis et comentario instruxit T.W. Pars prior. Leipzig: Teubner, 1844.

Wedin, Michael. Mind and Imagination in Aristotle. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998. DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt211qw8h

Weidemann, Hermann. Aristoteles, Peri Hermeneias. Übersetzt und erläutert. En Aristoteles, Werke in Deutscher Übersetzung, Band 1/II. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2002.

Weidemann, Hermann. “War Aristoteles ein Repräsentationalist”, en Ancient and Medieval Theories of Intentionality, Dominik Perler (ed.), 97-104. Leiden: Brill, 2001.

Whitaker, C. W. A. Aristotle’s De Interpretatione. Contradiction and Dialectic. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. (reed. 2002; DOI: 10.1093/0199254192.001.0001

Zirin, R. “Inarticulate Noises,” en Ancient Logic and Its Modern Interpretations, John Corcoran (ed.), 23-5. Dordrecht/Boston: Reidel, 1974. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-010-2130-2_2



How to Cite

Mie, F. G. (2018). Significado y Mente en Aristóteles. Journal of Ancient Philosophy, 12(1), 28-95.